INTRODUCTION to the Science of Belonging

We created this series of videos to help teachers like you help your students to feel connected to the school community using science-based activities like icebreakers and brain breaks.

These videos provide activities and a basic understanding of the factors that are most strongly related to school belonging in each Positive Psychology intervention.

Recent research underscores the value of student-teacher relationships, not only for academic outcomes but also for a sense of belonging to a school community, motivation, engagement and wellbeing.

Although it may seem on the surface that peer relationships play the most important role in fostering a sense of belonging at school, we know that the adults at home and on-campus play a bigger role.

The WEB We Weave (Where Everybody Belongs)

This WEB activity can be done online or in person. It is designed to connect a group by combining an icebreaker activity with a visual connector.

Togetherness Tracker

Using a visual map to track connections helps to ensure that every student has an adult on campus who "has their back". It also prioritizes connections by placing them either at the center of the staff room or virtually through a Jamboard or Trello. Belonging and connection are too important to leave to chance.

Access a CANVA template to create your own Student Connection Check-In Tracker. Use it as a team to ensure every student connects regularly with a member of your staff or use it individually to make sure every student is completing wellbeing check-ins, connecting with peers, and connecting with you and your colleagues.

We measure and report on what matters most. Let's not allow a single student to fall through the cracks.

Access the CANVA template here.

Embodied Emotions

This activity helps students to NOTICE their emotions and where they are embodied, NAME the emotion, and NAVIGATE the emotion.

Care (Bear) Countdown

This activity helps students to feel connected to one another. Like the 80s Care Bear bellies lit up when the bears used their strengths, spending time with students in a connected circle helps initiate and deepen a sense of shared humanity.


This simple mirroring exercise allows fun, connection and playful interaction in pairs.

For Me Joy Is...

This physical activity provides a great brain break while simultaneously introducing opportunities for connection and fun while students get to know one another.

Step Inside the Circle If...

This simple getting-to-know-you allows groups to get to know one another without conversation while playing and having an energy break.

Uncovering Belonging Journaling

Journaling prompts for students about belonging helps them to reflect and foster a sense of belonging from the inside out.

Great Philosopher

This activity involves creating a group story. Each person adds a word trying to make a profound sentence.

This simple process creates the experience of an inside joke which leads to a sense of community.


Handless Handshakes

This activity involves creating a unique physical movement to connect with each student.


This Is Us Board

This activity involves using images to create a story about who we are as a class.



Make A Mosaic

This one is great for your introverts. Have each student add or share pictures then create a mosaic out of these images.



Want More?

To learn more about how we have helped other teachers and schools, please check out these testimonials.

To speak directly to us about your school email or call (760) EDU-CATE.